Dwight Yoakam, Shelby Lynne, Rev. Gary Davis Among Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Honorees

Dwight Yoakam, Shelby Lynne, Rev. Gary Davis Among Americana Music Association Lifetime Achievement Honorees

The Americana Music Association has revealed this year’s slate of lifetime achievement honorees for the 23rd annual Americana Honors & Awards ceremony, to be held Sept. 18 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. The ceremony serves as a key event during the annual Americanafest, slated for Sept. 17-21 in Nashville.


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Dave Alvin, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Rev. Gary Davis, Shelby Lynne, Don Was and Dwight Yoakam are this year’s honorees.

Alvin is known for both his solo work as well as being part of the duo The Blasters alongside his brother Phil. Alvin won a Grammy in 2000 for his album Public Domain: Songs From the Wild Land.

The Blind Boys of Alabama was established in Alabama in 1939 and in the ensuing decades came to redefine gospel music with their songs and performances. They are multi-Grammy winners and Gospel Music Hall of Fame inductees, and found mainstream acclaim following the group’s role in the 1983 musical The Gospel at Colonus. They went on to perform and record with artists including Prince, Bonnie Raitt and Peter Gabriel.

South Carolina native Davis was a blues and gospel performer proficient on multiple instruments including harmonica. He became an essential part of the 1960s folk revival thanks to songs including “Death Don’t Have No Mercy,” influencing artists including Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead.

Lynne made her debut project, Sunrise, in 1989 and has since traversed musical spaces including rock, country and pop. In the 1990s she saw songs such as “Things Are Tough All Over” reach the top 30 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. Her album I Am Shelby Lynne earned Lynne a best new artist Grammy. She’s also won honors including the ACM Awards’ top new female vocalist. Lynne will release her album Consequences of the Crown on Aug. 16, via Monument Records.

Detroit native Was launched the band Was (Not Was) in the 1980s, then as a producer gained renown working with artists including Bonnie Raitt, The Rolling Stones and Brian Wilson. Among Was’s Grammy honors is a trophy for producer of the year. In addition to his production work, he has served as president of the jazz label Blue Note Records since 2012. Was has also been the longtime bass player in the house band for the Americana Honors & Awards ceremony.

Yoakam has earned two Billboard Hot Country Songs chart-toppers, with the 1988 Buck Owens collaboration “Streets of Bakersfield,” and “I Sang Dixie,” as well as numerous top 5 hits such as “Fast As You” and “Guitars, Cadillacs.” Along the way, he forged a sound that melded elements of country, rock, bluegrass and the Bakersfield sound. He’s won two Grammy honors, including best country vocal performance, male (“Ain’t That Lonely Yet”) and best country collaboration with vocals (“Same Old Train”).

“This year’s Lifetime Achievement honorees represent multiple facets of American roots music. It is a privilege to recognize and celebrate the incredible careers of these artists. We look forward to another exceptional night at the Ryman Auditorium,” Jed Hilly, Executive Director of the Americana Music Association and Foundation, said via a statement.

Tickets for the Americana Honors & Awards will go on sale to silver passholders on June 26, with tickets going on sale for association members, festival passholders and the general public at a later date.